Tallahassee, Fla. – Governor Rick Scott today announced further staff appointments in the Executive Office of the Governor. Scott announced the appointments of Doug Darling as Deputy Chief of Staff/Director of Cabinet Affairs, Jesse Panuccio and C.B. Upton as Deputy General Counsels, Melinda Miguel as Chief Inspector General, and Brian Hughes as Deputy Communications Director.
“I am grateful that this team is joining my administration to help me change the way Florida does business,” Governor Scott said. “We will work every day to create jobs for hard-working Floridians and these five experienced individuals will be an integral part of my office.”
Doug Darling brings to the Scott Administration more than thirty years of leadership experience and fiscal accountability in the U.S. Department of Defense and State of Florida. As Deputy Chief of Staff/Director of Cabinet Affairs, he will serve an integral role in overseeing the implementation of Governor Scott’s goals throughout several agencies. He is the current Inspector General to the Department of Environmental Protection and previously served as that agency’s Chief of Staff. He has served as a congressional liaison in the Office of the Secretary of the Navy and as a comptroller in the Marine Air Wing. He served honorably as a Lt. Colonel in the United States Marine Corps and is a graduate of Ball State University.
Jesse Panuccio and C.B. Upton bring distinguished legal resumes to their roles as Deputy General Counsels to the Governor.
Jesse was most recently an associate at Cooper & Kirk, where he has represented a wide range of clients in constitutional and complex commercial matters. He has played a significant role in cases involving First and Second Amendment cases. He served as a law clerk to Judge Michael McConnell of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He received his J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he served as Supreme Court Chair of the Harvard Law Review. He is a graduate of Duke University and is a member of the Florida and Washington D.C bars.
C.B. is the general counsel of the Florida Department of State, where he served as chief legal officer to the agency’s 500 employees and managed all legal issues related to the 2010 primary and general elections. He previously served as Florida’s Deputy Solicitor General and Assistant Attorney General. He has served in private practice with Arnstein & Lehr and as a law clerk to Judge Eugene Siler of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He received his J.D. from Stetson University College of Law, where he was Notes & Comments Editor of the Law Review, and is a graduate of the University of Tennessee.
As Chief Inspector General to the Governor, Melinda brings a record of experience and financial accountability to the Scott administration. She will monitor and coordinate the audit and investigative activities of the Inspectors General in the eighteen agencies under the Governor. She previously served as Chief Inspector General from 2007 to 2010. Her past experience includes service as Inspector General to the Florida Attorney General’s office, the Florida Department of Education, and the Florida Department of Elder Affairs. A graduate of Florida State University, she is the current president of the National Association of Inspectors General.
As Deputy Communications Director, Brian Hughes will aid Governor Scott in spreading his message of job creation and fiscal accountability. Brian most recently served as Communications Director to CFO Jeff Atwater’s campaign. His prior experience includes serving as Communications Director to the Florida Senate Majority Office and as a press advisor to multiple campaigns and advocacy groups. He is a decorated Air Force combat veteran of the Gulf War. He graduated from the Catholic University and has a master’s degree in fine arts from Syracuse University.